While walking one day, Mary Helen spied a very unusual sight; a tiny flowering plant growing in the top of an old post. The aged post was one of a number holding up a guardrail near a bay off Lake Ontario. In more affluent times, road crews would have replaced it. We’re fortunate they didn’t. The tiny flower reminded us to prosper where we’re planted.
From Eden when Adam and Eve scorned the hundreds of fruit trees they could enjoy to lust after the one forbidden tree, we have all been afflicted with a grass-is-greener syndrome. If only we had a house by the sea. If only we had more money. If only we had better health. If only we had more interesting jobs. If only our church was more spiritual. If only we could win the lottery. If only our children were more thoughtful. If only we had a retirement plan like Joe’s.
We tend to be discontented people. We look around and imagine things different—better somehow. But God says, grow in grace where you are, in whatever circumstance you find yourself. Show love. Experience joy. Minister kindness. Give thanks. Learn patience.
As Ann Voskamp writes, “As long as thanks is possible, then joy is always possible, Joy is always possible. Whenever, meaning—now; wherever, meaning —here. The holy grail of joy is not in some exotic location or some emotional mountain peak experience. The joy wonder could be here! Here, in the messy, piercing ache of now.” (One Thousand Gifts, p. 33)
No, joy is not found in some exotic location. Or even in a more convenient house. We’ve had our present property up for sale in hopes of moving to a smaller place in town where we can live without stairs or outside maintenance. But interest has been abysmal. The weeks drag by without showings.
Oh, it’s not wrong to change our circumstances; to try and tailor our housing to our health. Within each of us is a latent desire to improve our surroundings, to beautify, to invent, to create. This is part of being image-bearers, created in the image of God, the Great Creator. Being content is not about being satisfied with the mediocre. It’s more about living joyfully today instead of being miserable because tomorrow hasn’t come. It’s about being patient with current circumstances.
So, Lord please help me to curb my discontent. Help me to become a blessing to You and others here, where you have planted me, now in this day you have given.